I have not skied in a few years but based on the skill classification system I seem to be a level 6. I ski almost exclusively on the east coast, primarily Hunter, Killington, Stowe, etc. This year I have a lot of time available and plan to jump into skiing in a big way. Right now I am pretty comfortable on most blue trails but feel out of control on black diamonds. My goal is to get comfortable on black diamonds. I probably will get a season pass at Hunter. I am 5'10" and weight about 165.
I was planning to rent equipment for the season. However, I do not mind making a reasonable investment (maybe $600 or slightly more) for skis and boots if I can get them. My inclination is to try to find good used skis and get new boots. So here are my questions:
1) I found Volkl AC30 skis with binding brand new on Craigslist for $400. He doesn't seem negotiable. They are available in 170 and 184 sizes. What I have read about these skis give me the impression they will be pretty good for my transition from blue to black diamond. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether these skis are appropriate for me? Also, am I better off at 170 or 184. From what I have read they are both within my size range but am I better off going shorter or longer.
2) Assuming I am looking for post-2010 skis that are appropriate for my skill level, do you have any other recommendations of new or used skis that I should look for, keeping in mind my overall budget? I am not against new skis if I can afford them but I don't think I can get new skis and boots in my price range.
3) Do you have any recommendations for appropriate boots for my skill level and price range?
Thanks for your help. I have done quite a bit of reading online, and this shopping process has been very challenging to say the least. Hopefully this community of experts can help shed some light for me.